Review: "BigCommerce - The Popular Ecommerce System Your Web Developer Might Not Be Telling You About"https://www.trustradius.com/ecommerceBigCommerceUnspecified8.81011012014-03-18T21:45:25.260Z
Having come from a variety of ecommerce solutions (both self-hosted and SaaS products), BigCommerce consistently comes to the fore as the smartest option for online stores. As with anything it's the details of a project that really determine the best direction. However, BigCommerce gives maximum control over the front end UX / UI so you can virtually do anything to improve the shopping experience. Their templating panels allow you to easily move things around and create custom functionality that many other shopping carts don't allow. (Some saas carts lock out certain areas to designers like the products details page! Bad idea.) The people working there are very nice and easy to deal with; always helpful. What I like most from a user perspective is that there's no need to worry about data integrity, failure, or storage. The system works great and there's no need to troubleshoot big issues with the software that can often come up with store owners who try the self-hosted approach via a cms plugin. Bigc's support takes care of all of that. (Although systems like Wordpress and Magento are great, they can prove more costly in time and resources in the long run depending on actual needs.)
- The ability to customize product details pages - some SaaS systems lock out these areas to all but their premium developers. BigCommerce gives you access to this area so that you can micromanage the user shopping experience; and really the whole look of the site.
- Their templates are more modern and make use of floating divs and even, now, mobile responsive designs. Goodbye to tables! They load pretty fast too. Also, they do allow for a separate mobile version of the site since with ecommerce this might be better in some respects for shoppers than mobile responsiveness.
- I like that their reporting and dashboard features allow you to easily see how your store is doing and track its performance.
- The interface for admins is easy to use and well organized.
- I like the ability to call support with any questions and speak to a human.
- I like that you can create template edits in such a way that you can track changes to the design and isolate it to some degree from template upgrades.
- I would like to see them add more data, category, and product import capabilities. With large stores maximum control over some of the imports is very helpful. Although, the functionality they currently have for imports is still great.
- I finally figured out their WebDav method for connecting to transfer site files (mostly my issue though). Works great now. But in all fairness they did give me plenty of notice to work out my connection settings before doing away with ftp.
- Maybe introduce the topic of 'ease of migration' with potential customers with the sentence, "This will involve work. Moving always has it's challenges. But the process is straightforward, can be done relatively quickly, in a way that won't lose you customers, and will more than pay for itself." I had one former client a little unprepared for the work the migration process actually took and disillusioned by a well-intentioned 1st level on-boarder. (But again, in fairness, moving to or from any cart is still a process and BigC did a great job with helping; which can't be said for a self-hosted solution or some other carts)
- Easier admin usage for product management, order processing, etc
- Better seo and site indexing due to the reputation of bigcommerce and the way it's setup.
- Overall savings in support costs that can come with using self-hosted ecommerce solutions
The other systems can be awesome depending on the needs and situation. However, with ecommerce you don't want to be wasting time making sure everything works. You want to run the business not worry about functionality and sluggishness over time or stability of the platform, upgrades, etc. Bigcommerce saves money in the long run, takes the worry out of the equation, and gives an owner the tools needed to really give their ecommerce efforts a good go. The other systems don't always provide for these benefits and sometimes can be wrought with issues if not setup right, break on upgrades, or just limit you.
Cost is great. Basic support and guidance is included. Overall they are a great company to deal with. I'm happy with the technical aspects of the platform, the admin / store administration area, and the feature set. They've added support for a blog now and have some excellent marketing tools.
If you're planning on just selling a few products (1-30) and don't have a big need for complex rules, it might be good to just go with a cms plugin/component and go a self-hosted route using Wordpress or Joomla. However, where a store owner really wants to develop an online presence, has over a certain number of products and plans on having genuine growth and traffic, the worry-free opportunity Bigcommerce presents is a very smart decision over other saas shopping carts or self-hosted ones like wordpress or joomla; even if just for the practicality of running an online store. The support and guidance you'll get as an owner more than pays for the monthly fee for the service. You'll likely pay far more in the long run to hire a developer to help with a 'free' solution like magento or wordpress. Believe me, we're not cheap :)